Ask Mr. Cosmology


Time again to reach into the “Ask Mr. Cosmology” mailbag and see what readers want to know about…The Wonders of the Universe!

Q: Can neutrinos travel faster than light?

Mr. Cosmology: Depends what you mean by “light.” Light, as in light rail? Yes. Light, as in electromagnetic radiation? Almost certainly not. Light, as in light beer? Definitely not; that stuff will zip right through you.

Q: You’ve met a lot of cosmologists. What are they like?

Mr. Cosmology: They sit around in their underwear all day, they’re drunk by 3 in the afternoon, and their idea of a good time is chasing squirrels off the garage roof with a baseball bat.

Q: Really?

Mr. Cosmology: Oh, wait. Sorry—Mr. Cosmology was thinking of the next-door neighbor when he was growing up.

Q: I’m sensing an alcohol theme to this round of “Ask Mr. Cosmology.” Is booze an important part of the study of the universe?

Mr. Cosmology: Yes! It provides the only known method for testing the fundamental principle behind uncertainty theory—that you can’t simultaneously measure your position and velocity.

Q: You know the saying, “To every thing there is a season”? What is the universe’s season?

Mr. Cosmology: Spring. Because of the wormholes.

Q: I’m a cosmologist with a growing box of correspondence from crackpot theorists. Any suggestions for a label on that box?

Mr. Cosmology: “If I only had a brane.”

Q: I’ve noticed that Mr. Cosmology can be somewhat caustic.

Mr. Cosmology: Only because it’s that time of month.

Q: What!? Mr. Cosmology is a Ms.?!

Mr. Cosmology: Let’s just say that Mr. Cosmology is sometimes confused. For instance, how can a question from the “Ask Mr. Cosmology” mailbag refer to an answer to a question from the same mailbag?

Q: Maybe it’s those faster-than-light neutrinos. Or a wormhole.

Mr. Cosmology: Maybe. But Mr. Cosmology is pretty sure it’s the light beer.

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8 thoughts on “Ask Mr. Cosmology

  1. Mr. Cosmology,

    Do you have a favorite hat that you like to wear (metaphorical and/or literal)?


    Magoonski, a person who doesn’t drink, but it doesn’t matter.

  2. I might well be wrong but I heard that in certain cases when light is travelling through a medium that slows it down, eg water, neutrinos are not so impeded and in these cases they can exceed the speed of light ‘in that medium’. Is this wrong?

  3. Dear Mr. Cosmology —

    I’m really upset about a vicious rumor that I heard. Someone told me that Mr. Cosmology’s mailbag is really a big black hole and that questions go into it and never again cross the event horizon! Please, Mr. Cosmology, say it ain’t so.

  4. Dear Skeptico,

    You’ll just have to wait until the next edition of “Ask Mr. Cosmology” to see if your little stab at reverse psychology worked!

    Mr. Cosmology

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